‘Legends of Tomorrow’ 4×06 Review: “Tender is the Nate”

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No matter what line of work you are in, let’s face it: we all try to impress our boss, no matter how you feel about them. Love them or hate them, you always make your best effort to show your worth to them. “Tender is the Nate” showcases two different boss/employee interactions, provoking two different types of reactions from me. We also, finally, got the Nate/Charlie interaction that has been a long time coming and it was… underwhelming. More on that in a second as we dig in to how the Legends try to keep them dolla dolla bills coming in from Nate’s dad.

LE GAI PARIS

The main story, pursuing a magical minotaur in 1920s Paris, was truthfully not the best Legends effort of the year. There was no problem with the writing or the acting whatsoever. The trouble was the setting. I’m not a big fan of comparing shows, but if you are going to this time period, use different historical characters, like Timeless would. Hemingway and the Fitzgeralds have been done to death. 20s Paris has been showcased so much. Another location (maybe 1920s Russia) or other historical figures would have felt fresher here.

Still, a special shoutout to Nick Zano. He gave Nate a lot of pathos in his interactions with Charlie and Hank. Nate’s joy in seeing who he thinks is Amaya, followed by the crushing realization that Charlie is nothing like the woman he loved and lost was something you could feel just by seeing Nate’s face. Nate and Charlie do get chat and make peace with one another, but there should have been more time spent on this than what we got. We got the angst. We just didn’t get enough of it.

The Legends capture the minotaur, thanks to Hank crooning a  James Taylor song to soothe the savage beast. That convinces him they’re worth all the $$$$$ the government is spending on them. If you are wondering if Hank pulls any shadiness or sinister remarks about “Project Hades”… nope. No reference of it this week. Just a lot of Hank calling Salvador Dali a “mustached weirdo” and fanboying over Ernest Hemingway. (Personally, I would have fanboyed over Ernest P. Worrell more, but to each their own, Hank.)

Instead of going on about the stuff I didn’t like, I will hit upon the parts of the story I did like:

  • AvaLance’s cute little moment at the beginning of the episode as Sara surprises Ava at work with a little birthday sex for Ava. It’s one of those couples moments we see so often on other shows so having Sara and Ava have that moment was lovely. What wasn’t was Hank bursting in and ruining the sexytimes!!! No wonder Ava wasn’t in the best of moods later with Mona and Nora.
  • The magical potion Constantine uses to lure the minotaur and stop it is the scent of a female minotaur. Solid idea – but what if the minotaur was gay, John? What would you guys have done then? This is why you have a potion with the scent of another male minotaur… just in case.
  • Nate and Sara’s talk at the end of the episode where Nate explains why he’s staying at the Time Bureau right now. You can have all the silliness, jokes and comedy you want but character interactions like that are the heart of Legends of Tomorrow.

MONA AND NORA

The B story was the far more enjoyable one this week. It had to do with Mona’s first day at the job at the Time Bureau and Nora’s struggle to pay for her past. Mona’s been hired as sort of the new cook for all the monsters now inhabiting the Bureau’s facility. (You would think with billions of dollars they would be able to at least rent a place, but then again, when has any government organization been good with money?) Anyway, Mona gets to Nora Darhk’s room. As we’ve all seen Mona is a very happy, chatty individual. Nora is not. Mona’s first attempts to bond over books and crushes do not go so well, leading to Nora lashing out at her with her powers.

Nora believes the path to redeeming herself is to make herself suffer and be alone. That is just wrong. Nora needs people to support her. Her father’s support helped make her strong, but also very very evil. Support from people like Ray, Mona and others could help her good side shine through more and more.

After Nora lashes out the first time, Mona tries to make things better by sneaking in a letter from Ray. Ava comes in to investigate and after some harsher than necessary words, Nora lashes out again, her powers locking them inside the room.

Mona, Ava and Nora then bond over birthday cake and wine. Women supporting women is always something welcomed, not just on Legends, but on all TV shows. After a little good-natured badgering, the ladies convince Nora to open Ray’s letter to find instead of a letter, it’s a shrunken Ray inside the envelope. (Not Ray’s best idea, even if it’s a convenient way to get them out of the room. What if Nora had crushed the envelope in a fit of rage??)

After all of that, Nora is a little happier about her future now that she has something to try to be instead of worrying about what she was before. And there’s a budding new friendship between Mona and Nora/ Mona and Ava. It’s very easy to root for characters like Nora and Mona if you let us follow their journey and bond with them. This was a good step in that direction.

ALTERNATE TIMELINES:

  • Bear with me on the new name for this section. Much like the Legends, it will always be a work in progress.
  • Notice how much more likable Mona was with no Gary around this week? Once again proving my theory that Gary is the worst.
  • The Legends have a farewell pizza party to Nate when he tells them he’s staying at the Bureau. Nothing big here just wanted to state my love of pizza here.
  • Those looks Nora gave Ray when he shows up at Nora’s cell is the very definition of chemistry. Makes you almost think those two are married or something in real life.

Legends of Tomorrow airs on the CW at 9 p.m. Mondays.


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